Governor Rick Scott announced today that the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) is helping families displaced by Hurricane Michael find affordable rental housing through Socialserve. Florida residents displaced by Hurricane Michael can visit the affordable rental housing locator service, FloridaHousingSearch.org, to find available units in Florida.
Governor Scott said, “We know many families who have experienced impacts from Hurricane Michael are looking for affordable housing while they rebuild their communities. The service Florida Housing is providing will help many Floridians get back to a sense of normal life sooner.”
Florida Housing Executive Director Trey Price said, “Florida Panhandle families have had their lives turned upside down by this monstrous storm. Florida Housing stands at the frontlines efficiently providing long-term housing assistance and resources to those in need.”
Florida Housing and Socialserve will conduct extensive and frequent surveys with rental property owners in the impacted counties regarding available and suitable housing for households that cannot return to their homes. The survey also helps determine which landlords will provide short-term leases to displaced households and accept FEMA rental assistance vouchers.
The property owners being surveyed include those in Florida Housing’s portfolio, as well as other landlords that currently have their properties and units registered with FloridaHousingSearch.org. For those Florida residents that evacuated from the storm to Georgia and Alabama can visit GeorgiaHousingSearch.org and Alabama2-1-1 for housing assistance information.
To help further assist with the housing need in the Panhandle, Florida Housing is also going to advance the 2018-19 State Housing Initiative Partnership Program (SHIP) funding allocations first to those counties ravaged by the storm. Those counties include: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington.
The SHIP Program provides funds to local governments for their homeownership and rental housing programs. Under Section 420.9073(5), Florida Statutes, Florida Housing is authorized to earmark up to $5 million each fiscal year from the SHIP appropriation for recovery efforts for declared disasters. In previous years, recovery efforts include response to hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wildfires.
For additional disaster relief information, visit Florida Housing’s website that has a webpage devoted entirely to disaster relief resources and information at floridahousing.org. Information on the webpage detail Florida Housing resources that are available throughout the state, as well as other federal, state and local resources.